Tyson Foods, headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, is providing an additional incentive for frontline workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. The company, which already offers free on-site COVID-19 vaccinations at its U.S. plants, says it will also compensate workers for up to four hours of regular pay if they are vaccinated outside of their normal shift or through an external source.
Several hundred Tyson Foods team members, mostly health service staff and workers over the age of 65, have already been vaccinated. The company expects about 1,000 frontline workers in Illinois, Missouri and Virginia will be vaccinated this week and is prepared to provide free access at other locations across the country as more doses of the vaccine are made available.
Tyson Foods is partnering with Matrix Medical Network to educate the company’s 120,000 U.S. team members about the vaccines and is working with local and state health officials as well as approved vaccine providers to access doses, pursuant to prioritization regulations. Vaccinations for Tyson Foods team members are voluntary, but highly encouraged.
“I appreciate the company’s efforts to secure vaccines for us,” said Tim Adams, who works at the company’s Wilkesboro complex and has been employed with Tyson for 47 years. “I’m in a high-risk category due to my health, so for me it was an easy decision to get vaccinated. It’s the next logical step in keeping myself and those around me healthy and safe.”
“This incentive is an additional way we can encourage our frontline workers to receive the vaccination, which we believe is another important protective measure,” said Johanna Söderström, EVP and chief human resources officer for Tyson Foods. “We’re ready to vaccinate more of our people, especially through the free, on-site vaccination program we’ve developed, however, vaccine availability continues to vary by state.”
Providing workers access to the vaccine is the latest in a series of measures Tyson Foods has taken to fight COVID-19. Since the spring of 2020, the company invested hundreds of millions of dollars to transform its U.S. facilities with protective measures, from walk-through temperature scanners and workstation dividers to social distance monitors and always-on testing, as well as provide additional team member pay and benefits. Tyson Foods has also expanded its health services staff, added a chief medical officer and plans to pilot health clinics for team members and their families early this year.
Tyson Foods reports that it continues to experience success in its efforts to protect workers from the virus. The incidence of the virus involving the company’s U.S. team members remains low.
The company also has launched an in-plant career development program that provides frontline team members with job skills training and workforce certifications at no cost. See story, here.